Good Morning!

Are your infrastructure updates take eons to plan, review and deploy? Does your cost reporting look like gibberish? I’ll be chatting with Pulumi CEO Joe Duffy on Wednesday to learn how to tame the complexity of the cloud while keeping your sanity. BONUS: We’ll have a rousing debate on the topic “Platypus: friend or foe?”.Sign-up and join us here.

And last week I did something similar with Scalyr CEO Steve Newman. Watch as he suffers through my version of a media interview, and displays the good grace to neither call me out on my nonsense, nor depress me with the saddest platypus mascot imaginable (see above).

From the Community

“[there are] a lot of steps in maintaining compliance and adhering to requirements… [for] managing data around personal health information and personal identification information… obviously we want to provide the lowest cost solution for our customers…” – Josh Hull, SRE Lead, Clover Health

System optimization, improved resiliency and stability, affordability—all key reasons Clover Health relies on Honeycomb for observability. In Get Started: Build One SLO, SRE Lead Josh Hull shares how easy it was to get started and see right away where they could optimize, improve user experience, and solve incidents faster. Watch the webcast (and demo!) or read the transcript. Sponsored

Forrest Brazeal makes a point in a clear and nuanced way. My point of “Cloud Centers of Excellence” imply “Data Centers of Mediocrity” and thus everyone hates them and they fail is much better expressed within.

A discussion of Cloud NVMes. I don’t know what those are, and frankly at this point I’m too afraid to ask.

I’m darkening the doorsteps once again of an upcoming AWS webinar, wherein Jeff Barr and Jon Myer answer customer questions while I yell what could charitably be described as “jokes” over their helpful answers.

I think that being cited in an article on personal branding in technology is some spectacular shade, but I’m a sucker for seeing my name in print so of course I’m linking to it so as to further my personal brand.

Approximately 80 of you all sent me this amazing song parody, "Chime after Chime".


If you’ve got an interesting job for this newsletter’s eminently employable subscribers, get in touch!

No one likes managing EC2 instances, so you might like managing the team that replaces them with containers. That’s right, the Fargate team is hiring three Software Development Managers. People-focused servant-leaders are encouraged to apply. Help bring about an end to the Serverless vs. Containers war that doesn’t need to be fought in the first place. One last point: every team at AWS has internal principles that embody their culture, but this team publishes theirs on GitHub. I wonder how they’d take pull requests?

Are your infrastructure updates take eons to plan, review and deploy? Does your cost reporting look like gibberish? I’ll be chatting with Pulumi CEO, Joe Duffy on April 29 to learn how to tame the complexity of the cloud while keeping your sanity. BONUS: We’ll have a rousing debate on the topic “Platypus: friend or foe?”.Sign-up and join us here!

Choice Cuts

How many times have you configured and reconfigured your AWS alarms in CloudWatch? Wish you could get important alerts and anomaly detection without spending forever monitoring baselines, setting your thresholds, tweaking those thresholds over time, etc?

When you integrate Blue Matador with your AWS environment, you’ll get full monitoring coverage. If something goes wrong or is about to go wrong, it’ll tell you. No setup needed. If you’re tired of configuring and reconfiguring your CloudWatch alarms every time you scale, try Blue Matador free for 14 days. They’re so confident you’ll love it that they’re giving you $100 to try it. Sponsored

Amazon CloudWatch Synthetics is now generally available – You can now monitor your applications, various websites, and contribute to the ever-increasing AWS bill now that Synthetics has gone GA.

Amazon Connect now enables customers to interrupt Amazon Lex Chatbots – That’s nothing, Google’s sales policy has been permitting their employees to interrupt customers for years with condescending objections.

Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) adds support for cluster deletion protection using AWS CloudFormation – You can now set CloudFormation to prevent you from accidentally deleting all of your data when using DocumentDB. “Keeping you from accidentally deleting all of your data” is incidentally a notable incompatibility with upstream MongoDB.

Amazon EKS managed node groups allow fully private cluster networking – The window closes on your opportunity to be forced into making mistakes with both billing and security consequences with managed Kubernetes.

Amazon RDS is now available in the Los Angeles AWS Local Zone – As we see more and more services come online in Los Angeles, we’re gaining insight into just how a lot of these things might work under the hood.

Amazon Redshift introduces support for multi-factor authentication – This release taught me that as much as I think I understand AWS’s various authentication offerings and how to secure them properly, in fact I absolutely do not.

Amazon Route 53 supports Domain Name Transfer between AWS accounts – Rejoice! You can now move your database tables between accounts. If you schedule this to happen at least once every twelve hours, your table storage will be free instead of 50¢ per table.

Amazon SageMaker now supports Inf1 instances providing high performance and cost-effective machine learning inference – Amazon’s pretty excited about this one. Given what machine learning projects cost in terms of cloud spend, I’d be pretty excited in their shoes too.

Announcing cost controls for Amazon Redshift Spectrum and Concurrency Scaling – I’m hopeful they have an additional action taken soon; namely, “firing the data science team through the HR portal.”

Announcing general availability of Amazon Pinpoint Custom Channels – Creepy has a brand new playground, provided of course that Creepy is for some reason restricted to only using first-party AWS services for its marketing activities.

AWS Cost Explorer Rightsizing Recommendations Integrates with AWS Compute Optimizer – This is neat just because it provides recommendations from different angles. It’s terrible because they often won’t agree with each other, and now it’s even more confusing to figure out which to trust, but hey; saving money!

AWS Ground Station is now available in the EU (Ireland) Region – This continues to amuse me, just because there’s only one region Ground Station really needs to support, and that’s “Earth orbit.”

AWS IQ waives fees until June 30, 2020 – “Upwork for AWS” now is free for both buyers and sellers. I’ve used it myself a few times, and it’s decent! AWS IQ: great service, impossible to remember name.

EC2 Image Builder adds support for Ubuntu, RHEL, CentOS, and SLES – With this release, the open source community can stop complaining that AWS doesn’t support open source and start complaining that AWS doesn’t support their particular esoteric variant of open source.

Exporting HTTP APIs as OpenAPI 3.0 Now Supported by Amazon API Gateway – The headline tells me nothing about what this release actually means, and neither does the linked release announcement. AWS continues to be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.

Introducing Amazon Augmented AI (A2I) for human reviews of machine learning predictions – Did the “Augmented AI” come up with the “A2I” name? It’s proof that a name can be so clever that it loops right back around into stupid. Absolutely nobody will know what the hell you’re talking about if you reference “A2I” in a conversation, and I suspect that will dramatically hinder service adoption. We’ll see if I’m right!

Introducing Amazon Linux 2 Ready Partners – If you’re having trouble getting Amazon Linux 2 up and working, you can now consult with Amazon Linux 2 Ready Partners such as Stack Overflow, a number of defunct message boards, and the freenode IRC network.

Introducing AWS Cost Categories – Rather than fix the billing system, AWS decides instead to launch AWS Cost Categories Systems Manager Cost Manager in order too give accountants a rudimentary course in regular expressions. This is handy, and will continue to erode the value proposition of a number of existing cloud cost management platforms.

Introducing AWS Elemental Link: A Device to Send Live Video to AWS – This is effectively a bridge from your HDMI outputting camera into S3. Handy for some folks; I’m still figuring out if I have a use for this thing.

Now easily identify the identity responsible for the actions performed using IAM roles – “Blameless Post-Mortems” and this headline clearly do not see eye to eye.

Announcing TorchServe, An Open Source Model Server for PyTorch | AWS News Blog – Stinging from accusations of strip-mining open source, AWS decides to demonstrate through TorchServe that they’re committed to burning it down instead. And who better to partner with to burn open source down with than the dumpster fire goblins at Facebook. They’re just checking all the boxes, aren’t they.

AWS ChatBot – ChatOps for Slack and Chime | AWS News Blog – You now have another place to ignore AWS bill warnings: your Slack workspace. The inclusion of Amazon Chime in this is an obvious joke; nobody at Amazon apparently has ever seen an AWS bill or they’d do something about the nightmare of complexity they inflict upon their customers.

New – Amazon Keyspaces (for Apache Cassandra) is Now Generally Available | AWS News Blog – A space for your key is known as a lock. Amazon Locks are now available for all of your Cassandra-but-don’t-call-it-that needs.

New – Announcing Amazon AppFlow | AWS News Blog – This solves the incredibly difficult business problem of “how can I shovel piles and piles of otherwise worthless data into a place where AWS can charge me by the gigabyte for it?”

New – AWS Transfer for FTP and FTPS, in addition to existing SFTP | AWS News Blog – I hate this so much, but it’s incredibly useful for exactly the kind of ancient customer you’d imagine when I say “FTP.” I’m glad both that this exists and that I have no need for it.

Now Open – AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region | AWS News Blog – I took a look at the price list and oh my stars is the Cape Town region expensive as af-south-1.

Introducing the AWS CDK public roadmap | AWS Developer Blog – “Well, this is the first time I’ve seen a map that not only wants me to drive into the bay, but explicitly tells me that’s what I’m doing.”

Enroll existing AWS accounts into AWS Control Tower | AWS Field Notes – “How do I enroll existing accounts into Control Tower” is such a baseline question that I’m surprised that the first executive to whom the product’s six pager was presented didn’t interrupt the reading with it. The answer is finally here, and unfortunately involves a custom python script, opinionated use of GNU screen, a whole bunch of CloudFormation, and egregious waiting times–but it works.

How to track changes to secrets stored in AWS Secrets Manager using AWS Config and AWS Config Rules | AWS Security Blog – I’m not sure which leadership principle “never enhance a service when you can badly leverage a different service to do the job poorly instead” falls under, but it’s clearly alive and well.


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lamed is an A/B testing backend for Lambda / API Gateway.

An S3 proxy that lets you serve files securely from an S3 bucket, and also apply other restrictions as you go.

I like ECS Cluster Deployer even if it’s nothing more than “Fargate but with a more descriptive name.”

I struggle with databases (YOU DON’T SAY!), so I found this newly-launched SQL editor to be super handy. Completely free + open source, as is virtually everything I link to here in the Tools section of the newsletter. Beekeeper Studio supports the RDBMS you use (not the ones I use) and works cross-platform.

Today’s tool offering comes from… me! Introducing the AWS Super Simple Storage Calculator to replace a component of the soon-to-be-Googled AWS Simple Pricing Calculator.

… and that’s what happened Last Week in AWS.

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